Keady's Corner

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2023

Written by: The Cowra Phoenix

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IMAGE TOP: Renae Saxby received the Highly Commended Award for her portrait Bangardidjan, of Cindy Rostron on the road in remote Central Arnhem Land in the family muddikkang (car). IMAGE BOTTOM LEFT: The winner of the National Photographic Por-trait Prize for 2023 worth $30,000 is Ruby (left view), 2022 by Shea Kirk. IMAGE RIGHT: The Art Handlers’ Award went to Ugandan Ssebabi, 2022 by David Cossini (pictured left)

Commencing on Sunday 17 December 2023 to Sunday 4 February 2024 the Cowra Regional Art Gallery is hosting the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2023 on tour from the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra.

The National Photographic Portrait Prize 2023 exhibition is made up of 47 works by finalists selected from a national field of almost 2,400 entries. Celebrating its 16th year, the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2023 invites visitors to an amazing journey across Australia and beyond. This exciting and diverse exhibition of exceptional photographic works by some of Australia’s outstanding aspiring and professional portrait photographers presents audiences with a distinctive vision and celebrates the power of photographic portraiture to communicate something beyond the appearance of subjects – their quirks, flaws, strengths or vulnerabilities.

In making their decision, the judging panel - distinguished Australian photographer Tamara Dean; Director of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Photography Daniel Boetker-Smith; and National Portrait Gallery Senior Curator Joanna Gilmour – said the winning work was a celebration of photography. “While Shea makes the portrait look effortless, this is a masterful and technically complex work where the sitter has no self-consciousness. It is as if the artist and sitter are participating equally in the transaction.”

The People’s Choice Award was presented Bruce Agnew for his photograph KAHA, 2022. The selected finalists for the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2023 are: Adam Ferguson, Anne Moffat, Bahram Mia, Ben McNamara, Brenda L. Croft, Bruce Agnew, Cassandra Scott-Finn, Charlie Bliss, Charlie Ford, Cindy Kavanagh, David Cossini, David Darcy, Dylan Le’Mon, Elliot Brown, Emma Armstrong-Porter, Forough Yavari, Franca Turrin, Francis Cloake, The Huxleys, Gerwyn Davies, Grace Costa, Isabella Melody Moore, Jacob Nash, Heidi Margocsy, Jacqueline Mitelman, James Bugg, Jay Hynes, Jimmy Widders Hunt, Jo Duck, Julian Kingma, Lily Hatten, Martine Perret, Meng-Yu Yan, Nathan Dyer, Renae Saxby, Renato Colangelo, Rohan Thomson, Sammaneh Pourshafighi, Sarah Depta, Sarah Enticknap, Sean Slattery, Shannon May Powell, Shea Kirk, Stuart Miller, Tajette O’Halloran and Teva Cosic. The Cowra Regional Art Gallery is the only New South Wales venue to host the “must-see” National Photographic Portrait Prize 2023.

To find out more about the finalists and works in the exhibition go to https://www.portrait.gov.au/exhibitions/national-photographic-portrait-prize-2023. A special exhibition catalogue will also be available during the exhibition at the Cowra Regional Art Gallery.

The exhibition is supported by the National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach Program, an Australian Government program aiming to improve access to the national collections for all Australians Cowra Regional Art Gallery is located at 77 Darling Street Cowra, Gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm and Sunday 10am to 2pm. Admission is free. (closed for the festive season from Saturday 23 Dec and reopens Thursday 4 January 2024)

Steph Cooke

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Steph Cooke